College and school students often write compare and contrast papers. The main purpose of this academic assignment is to demonstrate your ability to analyze two distinct subjects, such as art, music, public education, government, and determine their differences and similarities. The contrasting element highlights differences, while the comparing aspect emphasizes similarities. You can use different approaches to write this paper. Choosing great and interesting compare and contrast essay topics is an important step that you should take at the very beginning.
How to define a compare and contrast paper
This type of essay contrasts dissimilar objects or compares similar things to inform people who read it about both pros and cons. This is what allows them to make a more informed choice. You can focus your piece of writing on both differences and similarities or decide to show either similar or different aspects.
This assignment helps the targeted audience reach critical decisions. You can choose common or rare objects, events, issues, and people. When people read your essay, they start weighing all factors before making a final decision and coming up with their personal conclusions. They become more cognizant of discussed matters.
Effective steps to write the best paper
Decide on the objects that you will discuss, such as living at home alone or with a family, day or night time, etc. Ensure that they have different and similar qualities to get enough information to analyze and discuss in your academic paper. Create a detailed outline of your future essay. Sketch out major points and their supporting facts that you will discuss and follow this plan when writing every section.
Pick the most effective organizational structure that you will use. There are several approaches that you can use when constructing the main body of your paper, including:
- Focusing on similarities before switching to differences (arranging point-by-point);
- Focusing on one item before moving onto the other one (considering the same set of traits or arranging all ideas by a block).
Take a short break before proofreading your essay.
What is a correct structure?
To submit a paper of a high quality and earn good grades, it’s necessary to draft its introduction, conclusion, and body paragraphs.
It should start with the introduction that explains the ideas that you want to compare and contrast, and its basic goal is to grab people’s attention to make them want to read more. Include a catchy hook to stimulate their engagement and interest. Make this paragraph original and appealing to readers and finish it with your thesis that represents a major argument of your writing.
In body paragraphs, you should demonstrate specific points, use solid evidence to support all ideas, and make a detailed analysis that your readers will follow. Avoid choosing too many points at once. Pick the most valuable ones to elaborate them and end every paragraph with a concluding sentence that shows its main idea.
In the conclusion, sum up all differences and similarities. Point readers’ attention to a major point and leave a lasting impression to finish your compare and contrast paper successfully.
Key points to consider
The most important rule for every student when completing this academic assignment is to focus on all small and big details. The things that you decide to compare and contrast should be common. Brainstorm interesting topics, take your fresh look at them and talk with parents or other people to come up with a unique perspective.
Another key to writing a winning compare and contrast essay is to stick to the best structure because all teachers pay attention to it. Consider your targeted audience and address the subject important to them. Create a brief outline of the things that you will compare and contrast in your essay and ensure that it has a practical value.
Do’s and Don’ts
- Start every academic paper with clear definitions of every object that you want to compare and contrast;
- Research your chosen topic before you start looking for similar and different qualities (use relevant and updated data);
- Follow specific structure, start every section with a general idea, and introduce supporting information to offer your valuable conclusion;
- Focus on coherence of all paragraphs and transitions because they should link together logically.
What are the things that you should avoid?
- Don’t combine a few organizational structures in one essay (pick a single structure and stick to it throughout your piece of writing);
- Don’t forget to use special transition words (they not only improve the flow of your paper but also have an extra role of indicating that you want to switch from one idea to another);
- Don’t be subjective or don’t have any personal preference for any of your chosen subjects because you must stay objective and base all important conclusions on existing data, not emotions or feelings;
- Don’t ignore basic academic writing rules or requirements (ensure that you write your paper in a formal style, avoid any controversial language or slang, and look for grammar, spelling, and punctuation mistakes to earn high grades).
What are widespread mistakes to avoid?
There are certain things that should be avoided to submit an excellent compare and contrast paper, including:
- Starting it with no clear idea or topic in your mind (it’s necessary to decide if you’ll focus on differences or similarities of your chosen items before you create an effective outline and start writing the first draft);
- Choosing widely discussed and general compare and contrast topics because it will be quite hard to write an original and interesting essay;
- Using different tables or charts in your piece of writing (although you may find it easier to complete this assignment after organizing all similarities and differences into some graphic structure, it’s not the best solution);
- Picking two equally beneficial, useful, or good objects to compare and contrast in your essay because you will fail to submit a strong draft.
How to pick perfect compare and contrast essay topics?
The key secret to finding interesting topics for free for your compare and contrast essay is to avoid very broad and narrow topics. Use available sources of information, such as articles. Tailor the chosen subject to your paper length. Look for something you feel passionate about, like Greek myths of English literature, and control every detail to improve its quality. Brainstorm possible compare and contrast essay topics to make your choice.
Traditional compare and contrast essay topics
- Qualities of bad and good teachers;
- Public vs private colleges;
- Being famous or being wealthy;
- Compare your current home and a house of your dreams;
- Traditional vs online education;
- Decide whether Barack Obama or Thomas Jefferson was a better president;
- Harry Potter vs The Lord of the Rings;
- Religion or common things of Orthodox and Catholic churches;
- Creationism vs Darwinism.
Excellent topics for college students
- Similarities of Donald Trump and Margaret Thatcher;
- Facebook vs Twitter;
- Apple vs Samsung;
- Introverts or extroverts;
- Oxford or Harvard;
- Real-life or online dating;
- EBooks or textbooks;
- Sense and Sensibility vs Pride and Prejudice;
- Differences between Allah’s and Jesus’s teachings.
What are easy topics for your compare and contrast essay?
- Working at home or in the office;
- Common things between high schools and colleges;
- Similarities between human beings and chimps;
- If you choose white or black colors;
- American and Australian English;
- Plato and Socrates;
- Differences and similarities between Roman & other ancient myths;
- Sociology vs psychology;
- TV or newspapers;
- If you prefer Washington or England;
- Fiction or non-fiction books.
Good topics for everyone
- Popularity of Pepsi and Coke;
- Communism vs capitalism;
- Working in a huge corporation or in startups;
- KFC vs McDonald's;
- Differences between Baroque and Renaissance;
- Burgers vs vegetarian meals;
- The convenience of laptops and tablets;
- Effects of printed ads and TV commercials;
- Outdoor or video games.
What are interesting compare and contrast essay topics?
- Fashion in modern times and in the past;
- If you like summer or winter weather more;
- Real-life theater vs movies;
- Differences between Hinduism and Buddhism;
- Linus or Windows;
- Owning cats and dogs;
- Spending your vacation on the beach or in mountains;
- Differences between Pilates and yoga classes;
- Marriage vs dating.
Funny compare and contrast essay topics
- Washing your dishes or laundry;
- Whether you would prefer to be a dog or a cat;
- Differences in lifestyles of the elderly or young people;
- Selfies vs traditional photos;
- Living in big cities vs your farm life;
- Texting or talking to friends;
- The importance of food and sleep;
- Receiving and giving presents;
- Paintings vs photos.
What are controversial essay topics?
- Creationism vs atheism;
- The influential role of peers and your family;
- Seasonal relationships vs being alone;
- Living on campus and with parents;
- Living in a big family vs being an only child;
- Listening to audiobooks vs reading;
- Plagiarizing content vs cheating on exams.
Technological compare and contrast essay topics
- IOS vs Android;
- iPhone 5 vs iPhone 7;
- PlayStation vs Xbox;
- Differences between HDD & SSD;
- Lenovo vs Samsung;
- Honda Civic vs Toyota Corolla;
- Real-life conversations or social media;
- Regular driving or autopilot.
What are general essay topics?
- Functions of accountants in modern times & in the past;
- Core differences in the policies of a few modern presidents;
- High school & college experiences;
- Japanese or American cars;
- Whether you prefer spending your time in 5-star hotels or in the wild.
Compare and contrast essay topics on biology
- Bacteria or viruses;
- Tangerines or oranges;
- DNS sequences of humans and animals;
- Cell replication vs cell division or mitosis;
- Fish and humpback whales.
Topics on IT and computers
How many times did you struggle with this field? Consider these interesting suggestions:
- Modern MacBook Air and the first Apple Macintosh 1980;
- Differences between Windows 8 & Windows 10;
- Similar features of iPad 3 and iPad 1;
- Basic differences and similarities between Opera & Chrome;
- Traditional or SSD hard drives.
Compare and contrast essay topics on management
- Democratic vs autocratic management styles & their effects during a crisis;
- Tactical or strategic management;
- Management by exception or by the objective;
- Leadership or management;
- Compare administration vs management.
What are essay topics on marketing?
- Evaluate marketing techniques in two companies;
- Sales or marketing techniques;
- Differences & similarities between two marketing research companies;
- Discuss two marketing automation vendors.
Compare and contrast essay topics on art
- Paintings of Alberto Morocco & Pablo Picasso;
- Settings, major themes, & plot details of two poems by Robert Frost;
- Statues of David by Michelangelo & Bernini;
- Music of Baroque & Renaissance;
- Greek & Roman architecture.
What are high school essay topics?
- Different and similar characteristics of public and private schools;
- Whether people need to live in civil unions or official marriages;
- Compare Christopher Columbus vs early specimen;
- Any real government vs the student’s one;
- Gain world power in war or using more humane methods;
- Football clubs in the US & Europe.
What are middle school compare and contrast essay topics?
- Celebrating Christmas in Europe and the US;
- Role models for adults & teenagers;
- Long-distance trips by car or train;
- Whether novels or poems are more fun to read;
- Benefits of traditional learning and remote education.
What are essay topics for 6th grade?
- Iron Man vs Spiderman;
- Compare Sonic & Super Mario;
- Staying at home or playing games outside;
- Summer vs winter sports;
- Doing homework vs playing with friends.
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